Thrive Global—a site originated by Arianna Huffington that’s worth checking out.
Here’s a recent offering on the site, by Dr. Ali Rezai (neuroscientist and surgeon), The Importance of Brain Health. Rezai quotes frequent cable science show visitor Michio Kaku, “Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.”
Rezai goes on to point out the well-known but often overlooked connection between the brain and the body, saying this:
“We know that the brain interfaces with the body in nearly limitless ways from regulating your heart rate to signaling hunger. The brain is not merely the warehouse of the psychological and the cognitive, rather, the brain is the mechanism by which our bodies function. We can see this connectivity in our daily lives.
One example is how our thoughts can manifest physical symptoms — a headache that’s triggered by a stressful day, a racing heartbeat when we think about that big presentation, sweaty palms and dilated pupils when we are anxious or when we watch a scary movie. Why do these things happen? Because our brains direct the functioning of our bodies. Despite these common examples, we often neglect to acknowledge the connectivity of the brain and body, divorcing our neural activities from the rest of us.”
The purpose behind the article is to focus attention on Brain Awareness Week. About which Rezai notes:
“Failing to factor the brain-body connection into our thinking may cause us to miss critical information about the nature of illness, the ways our bodies function, and our brain health and wellness.
Making these connections is vital, and that’s why Brain Awareness Week is so important for all of us. Today we begin a global initiative that emphasizes learning, engaging with others, taking steps to improve overall health and wellness, and raising awareness about the importance of neuroscience research.”
How Long Does it Take to Write a Book? We’ve had items from Erica Verrillo’s wonderful Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity site before. This is another post worth checking out by writers and those who know or care about them. She begins the piece by saying this:
“If you have set out to write a novel, a memoir, or a nonfiction book, the question “How long will this take?” almost inevitably arises – especially if you have been at it for a few months.
That question is not easily answered, because it depends entirely on what you are writing. Some projects require months of research, others only need that special “Ah!” moment when a story somehow inserts itself in the mind of the unsuspecting writer.”
She doesn’t leave it there. She offers tips on dealing with the angst or anxiety that stems from the lack of a solid answer to the question. For example,
“If you are stuck on a project, putting it down for a while can be enormously helpful. You may find that your unconscious continues to work on it, even when you are not writing. Working on other projects is also quite helpful. I usually write two books at once. That way, when I hit a snag with one, I can simply switch off to the other.”
If you want an answer or more tips, check out the article. Or look there for other helpful posts.
Returning the Favor of an Email Scam—were this our own, we’d have put it in the March Madness humor piece. Since it isn’t, we’ll put it here. If you get email (who doesn’t, especially if you’re reading the Quarterly), at one time or another you must have received one of those Nigerian investment scam messages. Here’s the beginning of one man’s response—which expertly (and humorously) captures the writing style of the scammer.
“I appreciate your due diligence in appraising my investment profile and history. That is the primary mark of a careful and prudent investor as I’m sure you and the major players in your group are.
Your unsolicited offer comes at a timely stage in a current venture I’m working on. I was planning to release investment offerings by-invitation-only prior to a NYSE IPO. However, I’m open to prioritizing your group’s investment of a substantial amount of money during my project’s Research & Development (R&D) stage. Therefore, I’d be pleased to accommodate you and your esteemed business associates in safely appropriating your funds.
With an understanding of your agreement to confidentiality, my project involves a revised form of hyper-velocity, multi-directional transportation.”
Let them eat pi—if you have some mathematician friends. Here’s just the treat for them on that special occasion. You’ll find some other humorous items on the Bluebird of Bitterness. In the meantime, enjoy the pi (e).